Elisabeth Pfeiffer (she/her)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Photo of Elisabeth Pfeiffer, CGMA candidate


Tell us about yourself.

I am a English Literature PhD candidate at Memorial University, studying comics under Dr. Nancy Pedri.

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending?

The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics/ Société Canadienne pour l'étude de la Bande Dessinée(CSSC/SCEBD)

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?

“Basic Bitches and their curiousity with Blackness: comics and Blackface”

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

I will be examining instances of the use of Blackface, specifically by white female characters, in comics, using an anti-racist lens. I will be discussing three separate stories where white female characters – including an iconic issue of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #106 where the white Lois Lane uses Kryptonian technology to become Black. This will be expanding on my master’s research, where I, in part, examined a short comic, “Basic Bitch”, written by an all-Black creative team. “Basic Bitch” starkly illustrated possible real world effects of a white woman becoming Black in a society that criminalizes and profits off of Blackness.

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions?

The theme of this year’s Congress addresses social and racial issues; my presentation will address both racial and gender issues. As a white anti-racist scholar, I believe it is incredibly important to address these intersecting oppressions.

What is your favourite part of the Congress experience?

I presented my research on my master’s to the CSSC/SCEBD last year. The experience was fantastic! I really enjoyed all the Discord channels that were set up for the virtual conference, and loved that I could attend so many different and interesting panels.

Share your hopes for Congress 2022. 

I hope to meet other comic scholars and discuss our work. I also hope to get guidance from other experts in my field!